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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everybody, I set up an El Natural tank a few years back and then had to deal with a few family healthcare issues. The only thing I’ve really done is feed the fish, top off the water, a few water changes, filter maintenance, break up the substrate occasionally and trim the Java moss. I recently added limnobium laevigatum, which seems to be doing ok, but the ramshorn snails are keeping it in check. Although my son and I think it looks great, my wife thinks it looks “out of control.” Especially the center right part of the aquarium. The cryptocoryne was suffering a while back, but once I reduced the Java moss by more than half it has bounced back.

Any and all criticism is welcome. What should I trim? Should I try to add something new?
Plant Water Pet supply Rectangle Terrestrial plant
 

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Beautiful tank. There are many people that would kill to have a tank like this!

If I had to do any trimming, I would snip off 6" segments of some of the Anubias nana in the very front. Just cut through the rhizomes. That would open up the center area.
Don't trim too much, no more than 25% biomass, or you may have trouble with algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Beautiful tank. There are many people that would kill to have a tank like this!

If I had to do any trimming, I would snip off 6" segments of some of the Anubias nana in the very front. Just cut through the rhizomes. That would open up the center area.
Don't trim too much, no more than 25% biomass, or you may have trouble with algae.
Thank you! I must have read a good book on this ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Water Plant Green Pet supply Organism

I found a pic from 2017, which is more than “a few” years referenced above. Hopefully this will inspire people just getting started to stay with it. Some plants made it and some didn’t. Tank is 30 years old, but this set up is 6 years old. I was thinking about getting a new tank, but the guy at the LFS said I’ve gotta keep this one going for as long as possible now. 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, Anubis Congensis. The plant is one of the originals. It started blooming a couple of years ago. Originally underwater, but recently with more frequency above the water. I don't think the Anubias Nana has bloomed at all. I think the flowers only last a few days.
 

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View attachment 76347
I found a pic from 2017, which is more than “a few” years referenced above.
In this tank, there appears to be a lot of air bubbling. I see two submerged pumps, one at each end of the tank, and what looks like a sponge filter in the middle.
Are you still using this same filtration/water movement setup? Did you remove the sponge filter at some point?
Just curious, as I'm still wondering about the effect of aeration on a Low-tech setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In this tank, there appears to be a lot of air bubbling. I see two submerged pumps, one at each end of the tank, and what looks like a sponge filter in the middle.
Are you still using this same filtration/water movement setup? Did you remove the sponge filter at some point?
Just curious, as I'm still wondering about the effect of aeration on a Low-tech setup.
All three filters are still in use. The two on the side are "Marineland PH0550 Penguin Submersible Power Head, 145 GPH" which are being used as under gravel filters. I originally had the aeration valves open as I had done so when it was a saltwater tank decades ago. I no longer keep the aeration valves open. The third filter is an Aquaclear 70 with a sponge. It was purchased for this particular set up in early 2017. The sponge was added shortly thereafter when one of the Tiger Barbs got stuck on the intake. I have used sponges ever since as I also keep Cherry Barbs and they have been reproducing. The java moss is a great hiding place for the fry and many make it to adulthood.
 
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